Court Data

Number of Times Impeachment Proceedings were Initiated against a SC or HC Judge

Impeachment proceedings against SC or HC judges initiated a total of 4 times in Indian history.

Impeachment proceedings were initiated against a Supreme Court or High Court Judge 4 times in the history of the Supreme Court of India.

Under Article 124(4) and 124(5), a judge of the Supreme Court (and High Court (see Article 217) can be removed from his office by an order of the President. The President can issue the removal order after an address by the Parliament. The motion to remove the judge must be supported by a special majority of each House of Parliament. A special majority is a majority of the total membership of that House AND a majority of at least two-thirds of the members of that house present and voting.

V. Ramaswami J was the first judge against whom impeachment proceedings were initiated. In 1993, the motion was brought up in Lok Sabha but failed to secure the required two-thirds majority.

Soumitra Sen J of the Calcutta High Court resigned in 2011 after the Rajya Sabha passed an impeachment motion against him. He was the first judge to have been impeached by the Upper House for misconduct.

In 2015, 58 members of the Rajya Sabha moved an impeachment notice against J.B. Pardiwala J of the Gujarat High Court for his “objectionable remarks on the issue of reservation.”

In 2017, Rajya Sabha MPs moved a motion to initiate impeachment proceedings against C.V. Nagarjuna Reddy J of the High Court for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

In March 2018, opposition parties signed a draft proposal for moving an impeachment motion against Dipak Misra CJI.

Note: Amidst charges of corruption, land-grab, and abuse of judicial office, P.D. Dinakaran J, Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court, against whom the Rajya Sabha Chairman had set up a judicial panel to look into allegations of corruption, resigned in July 2011, before impeachment proceedings could be initiated against him.